Outspoken singer Mario Vella was called in by police today after criminal lawyer Franco Debono reported him for hate speech over a Facebook comment which included swear words.
“[Debono] is an unscrupulous narcissist and fuck every idiot who is calling for him to run for the position of [PN] leader,” Vella had written under a status by fellow singer Matthew James Borg which also described Debono as a narcissist.
Debono then informed everyone who was following the discussion thread that he had reported Vella to the police for hate speech.
“I tolerate a lot but then there’s a limit. Hate speech is not just criticism, it is a criminal offence,” he wrote.
He clarified that the ‘hate speech’ referred to the swear words used in the comment and said the inspector agreed with him that this was legally classified as hate speech.
Police called Vella and he ended up deleting his comment, with Debono saying he told the police not to press charges against the singer.
“Seeing as he deleted the comment, I asked the police not to press charges, and this because I have a good heart and I’m not a cruel person, just as I don’t hold other titles that some stupid people have unfairly bestowed on me,” he wrote in a status.
“Other people have been arrested and even imprisoned over similar crimes. Hate speech is a crime punishable by jail. I hope you now write what a good heart I have and how forgiving I am.”
In a message to people who have asked him to return to the PN in recent days, Debono said no one will stop him from listening to them and no one will intimidate him.